Belfast Telegraph

Popularity doesn't matter to AVB

Andre Villas-Boas has stood by his attack on Chelsea's critics and claimed it did not bother him if he was disliked, even by his own players.

Blues boss Villas-Boas reacted to Tuesday's night's crucial Champions League win over Valencia by suggesting there had been an agenda against the club from those spellbound by the performances of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.

"A lot of things that were said, most of the things, were wrong," he said.

"One day I will open the doors of training for you guys for a couple of days and you will see the players have the talent and ability and want to compete.

"That's what we hold on to during extreme criticism."

He added: "It's fair for you guys to admit that the media darlings of the press are blue collar and not Chelsea.

"We were unfairly treated a couple of times, and fairly by yourselves in the beginning. It's a love and hate relationship."

Villas-Boas certainly did not love reports this week of heated dressing room exchanges between himself and his players.

"If their informant got paid, get the money back," said the 34-year-old, who has nevertheless demonstrated a ruthless streak to get Chelsea back to winning ways, axing Nicolas Anelka and Alex from his first-team squad and dropping Frank Lampard on Tuesday.

Asked if being liked by his players or people in general bothered him, he said: "I don't care."


From Belfast Telegraph